A few years ago I went to see a naturopath. It was the first and only time I have ever seen a naturopath. In actual fact, I enjoyed the consultation and found it to be quite helpful, yet I have not bothered to go back.
Since then, I have often reflected back on that initial visit and thought: “perhaps I should go again?”. But that’s the extent of it. I never made the call to book another appointment.
Now, the naturopath herself could be forgiven for thinking I haven’t returned because:
1. I wasn’t satisfied
2. I found another naturopath.
3. Her advice didn’t help me.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
So why didn’t I go back?
Well the number one reason is that my life (like your clients’ lives, no doubt) is very busy. A visit to the naturopath is not a priority and is generally not on my mind.
Are your existing clients staying with you?
Are they returning for repeat business?
If not, why not?
One of the worst mistakes you could make is to think it’s your fault. By that I mean, don’t assume you have done something wrong. Don’t assume your client has found another service-provider or store.
Don’t assume anything. Find out! Make follow-up phone calls (or emails at least) to your existing clients. Find out how they are doing and stay in touch.
Here are 3 key ideas to ensure your existing clients stay with you and bring your repeat business.
1. Make Regular Contact
Once your client has made their initial purchase, don’t let them walk away forever. Instead, make at least one follow-up contact. Ask them for feedback about your service. Don’t be afraid of negative comments because you’ll find that even if a customer has some complaints, they’ll respect you more for following up with them.
Aside from follow-up phone calls and emails, begin making contact by a weekly or monthly newsletter. Let all your clients know about your current work or products, recent great feedback and testimonials… and of course new offers and specials. By doing this, you are pushing your brand and staying in the forefront of your clients’ minds.
2. Deliver and Monitor High Quality
Give your clients the best you can give. But don’t stop there. Be sure to constantly improve your offering. Use your feedback to improve. Monitor your competition to make sure you stay on top of the game.
When your clients are impressed with their initial transaction, they’ll be more than happy to return to you for more!
3. Add Value
Sometimes it’s obvious how a business could add extra value to client transactions. Other times, brainstorming is required. I personally add value to my copywriting services by providing clients with general direct response marketing advice. A graphic designer could add value by understanding their client’s business and business goals, then offering products and services to help meet those goals. For example, instead of just designing a corporate identity and that’s it, why not offer to outsource copywriting, web site building and marketing services?
Any way you can make your client’s life easier and make them feel like they’re getting “bang for their buck”, you’re adding value. They’ll thank you for it by bringing you repeat business and even referring you to their friends and colleagues.
Now Get to Work on Your Business
I honestly believe that if my naturopath had followed up with a phone-call (or even a standardized “how are you going?” posted letter or email), then I would have gone back for another appointment.
If she were sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter, highlighting the success of her other clients & special offers, I would be even more prompted to return.
So it’s time to stop and ask yourself:
What can you do to ensure your clients return?